Balmoral Classic Goes Online for 2020/ Other Events Cancelled

The 14th Annual Balmoral Classic, the only junior solo competition for both bagpipers and drummers in the USA, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, writes Elaine Lee. This will be a virtual event, with competitors submitting videos to our panel of renowned judges.

Those invited to compete may sign up for any one of three Pre-recording Workshops with professional piper Sean Patrick Regan. Regan will work with competitors to ensure that they are prepared to submit their best recordings. Schedule of Pre-Classic and Classic Events:

  • Oct. 1: Application Deadline. (11:59pm HST, or five hours past 11:59 EST)
  • Nov. 1: Prerecording Workshops (9-10:00am, 1-2:00pm, 7-8:00pm EST)
  • Nov. 4: Judges’ tune selections issued to competitors
  • Nov. 8: Recording Submission Deadline (11:59pm EST)
  • Nov. 14: Stream of Competition Videos on Facebook & YouTube, (9:00am-5:00pm EST)
  • Nov. 14: Awards Ceremony (7:00pm EST)
  • Nov. 15: Classic Concert with Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas
  • Nov. 15: Sunday Workshops (instructors and times TBA)


‘Our summer school sessions went online this year and students raved about it in our exit surveys,’ says Balmoral Director George Balderose. ‘We’re now looking forward to producing the first online Balmoral Classic this autumn, carrying forward the professionalism and care in production that is a Balmoral trademark.’

Competitors at last year’s Balmoral Classic

On November 14, all competition performances will premiere on YouTube, with LiveChat available to give viewers the experience of attending a live event. Performances will also be posted on Facebook. 

Awards will be announced via Zoom at 7:00pm EST, with winners posted on social media immediately after. First prize for the winning piper will be a set of McCallum bagpipes. Pipers apply at this link. Drummers apply at this link.


Pibroc’h en bord de mer à Cancale

The organisers of the ‘Piobaireachd by the Sea’ held at Cancale in Brittany, France, each September have announced the cancellation of this year’s event and refunds for those who have forwarded cheques: ‘Chers sonneuse et sonneurs de Pibroc’h Chers bénévoles, Compte tenu des contraintes liées au Covid 19  nouvellement fixées par la Préfecture d’Ille et Vilaine, le bureau de notre association s’est réuni le 4 août. 

C’est avec beaucoup de regrets que nous avons décidé à l’unanimité d’annuler notre 16ème édition de Pibroc’h en bord de mer à Cancale. Nous reportons donc cette manifestation à 2021 en espérant que ces problèmes ne seront plus qu’un lointain mauvais souvenir…..NB: Nous retournerons les chèques de règlements déjà effectués.Rémy LECASTREC, Président.’


Festival of Juvenile Solo Piping

Jon Gerard McClumpha, organiser of the Festival of Junvenile Solo Piping, had been hoping to run a practice chanter contest this October. Unfortunately the local council have refused to give him use of premises.

Jon Gerard: ‘We had fifteen different mitigating measures put in place to enable a safe environment to allow us to go ahead with our chanter event, but I’m afraid it has all fallen on deaf council ears and they have refused to allow us the school let so it is now officially off. We will see you all again on Saturday, 16th October 2021.’


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